At some point in your life, you will be inspired to pursue something. Maybe a parent, a motivational speaker, or a documentary. Heck, it could be some post on social media that clicks something inside you. When looking back on who inspired me to expand my outdoor experiences, I had a hard time figuring out who it was. I grew up in the outdoors. My parents took us camping and fishing all the time and were always at the lake, at some wildlife refuge, or state park. As I grew older, I evolved into going further than just casual weekends at the lake. I wanted to experience more. I wanted to dig deeper and see what was out there. I was always inspired by my parents to be outdoors. My brother and I grew up exploring and hunting with our dad. But I have gone so much further than that since then. I honestly think it was my younger brother, Ross, who unknowingly lit the fuse. And, until now, I did not even realize. I had already been heavy into backpacking for a couple years. A friend and I would sit there for hours watching backpacking videos on Youtube, mainly a guy named David Gray. He opened my eyes to the backcountry and how to get out there and explore it. This was the primer, and my brother was holding the match.
One day my brother texted me saying we should go elk hunting and sent a video of Joe Rogan and Cam Hanes elk hunting in Utah. In Oklahoma, backcountry elk hunting might as well have been on a different planet. I knew nothing about it and basically told him it was too expensive, maybe some other time. Then a few days later, he texted me again and said, "Hey, watch this," and the video was named Cam Hanes Bull of a Lifetime. I was at a loss for words. I texted him and said, "I'm looking at going to Utah next year to go bow-hunting for elk." One year later, I found myself in Utah, sitting at 10,600 ft on the north slope of the Uintas. Bow in hand, no idea what I am doing. Loving every second of it.
Since then, my passion for hunting has exploded. I watch all the videos I can, listen to podcasts, read books, just absorbing everything I possibly could about hunting, conservation, and the outdoors. I took my mental and physical help much more seriously. I began really pushing myself, getting into the best shape possible. As cheesy as it sounds, I still go back and watch that video for motivation and inspiration. As Ross and I grew older, we both have pursued different passions, but they still pertain heavily to the outdoors. He started mountain biking with some friends and making fantastic videos for Youtube. We both talk about mountain biking and hunting. The outdoors has, without a doubt, strengthened our relationship as brothers.